Uganda, Tanzania Resolve to Fast-track Oil Pipeline Project

3186 Views Hoima, Uganda

In short
Energy and Mineral Development Minister Engineer Irene Muloni told journalists after the meeting that timelines have now been set to have the pipeline front-end engineering design launched in October this year. Muloni added that land acquisition and project funding equally need to be fast-tracked.

Uganda and Tanzania have agreed on the fast-tracking of the crude oil export pipeline development project. The 1,443 kilometer pipeline will connect from Buseruka in Hoima district to Tanga port in Tanzania.

The resolution follows a meeting between Uganda and Tanzanian officials to discuss modalities of having construction of the pipeline done by the year 2020. The meeting, held in Hoima town last evening was also attended by officials from exploration companies Tullow, CNOOC and Total.

Energy and Mineral Development Minister Engineer Irene Muloni told journalists after the meeting that timelines have now been set to have the pipeline front-end engineering design launched in October this year. Muloni added that land acquisition and project funding equally need to be fast-tracked. 

She said the meeting had also resolved to name the pipeline the East African Pipeline, with a logo in the colors of the East African Community flag, to highlight the project as a regional pipeline.
 
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Currently the pipeline surveying work is ongoing and government hired Strategic Friends International, consultants who did the oil refinery survey and resettlement action plan in 2012.

The crude oil will be exported through Tanga, a seaport city about 200km north of Dares Salaam, rather than Lamu in Kenya.  The UK based newspaper; The Guardian reported in May that Uganda chose to route its oil exports through Tanzania after a report found the country was a cheaper and more secure option than Kenya.

A statement issued later by government indicated that a pipeline between Kabaale, in Hoima district, and Tanga, of about 1,400km, will be the most cost-effective route.

Professor Sospeter Muhongo, Tanzania's Minister for Energy and Minerals expressed the country's readiness to support this joint project. He says, with the experience Tanzania has in construction of pipelines, this project should be completed in the shortest time possible.
 
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Uganda's Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Energy Fred Kabagambe Kaliisa says it is better to have a pipeline before the country's oil production could starts.

Uganda has proven oil reserves in excess of 6.5 billion barrels, of which about 2.2 billion barrels are recoverable. The country is also in advanced stages of building a refinery in Hoima to process crude oil needed locally and regionally, with the rest exported via a pipeline to the Indian Ocean coast.